Your Iron Factor
Tired? Strange cravings? Brittle nails & hair? These are all signs your iron may be out-of-whack.
About 20% of women, 50% of pregnant women, and 3% of men do not have enough iron in their body. In this news, we're getting into a little on the 'why' and tips for making sure you're getting enough.
Iron-deficiency anemia is a decrease in the number of red blood cells caused by too little iron. Without sufficient iron, your body can't produce enough hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that makes it possible for them to carry oxygen to the body's tissues. As a result, you may feel weak, tired, and irritable. A long term deficiency can have serious health consequences.
The signs and symptoms of iron deficiency aren't noticeable unless it's severe. They can include:
Extreme fatigue and weakness
Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath
Headaches, dizziness or lightheadedness
Cold hands and feet
Inflammation or soreness of the tongue
PICA - unusual cravings for non food items such as: ice, starch, wood and dirt (for real)
Poor appetite especially for infants and children
IMPORTANT: iron deficiency should not be self diagnosed. If you suspect one, talk to your healthcare practitioner before taking supplements. An overload of an unnecessary iron supplement can cause serious health issues including liver damage, irregular heart rhythm and heart attack. Mild to moderate deficiency can usually be reversed naturally from eating foods rich in iron along with those that support its absorption (check out the collection below for blends that give you a big iron-boost).
Foods that help us meet the Iron RDI
Meat/Seafood: lean red meat, poultry, clams, oysters, mussels
Plant-Based: spinach, kale, unpeeled potatoes, spirulina, white beans, lentils, chickpeas, firm tofu, dark chocolate, nuts (cashew, walnuts, almond) & seeds (hemp, flax, pumpkin) mushrooms (see absorption tip)
Max your Iron absorption
To ensure you're absorbing the iron from your food sources, it's best to eat them with Vitamin C rich foods at the same time (eg. lemons, oranges, red & orange bell peppers, guava, kiwi, broccoli, tomatoes).
Important Flag: Tannis (found in coffee, tea, wine), phosphates (in carbonated beverages), and calcium from cow milk can all slow or block the absorption of iron, so avoid consuming with foods that are a primary iron source.
We've got a bunch of delicious and nutritionally packed smoothies have a 70-100%+ iron RDI, as well as the right combination of ingredients for max absorption.